Liberal synagogues are finding that attendance and membership are up. Call it the “Trump bump.”
“The Israeli government is drunk with power and impunity, particularly since Trump’s rise to power,” said Omar Barghouti at a Columbia University event on Monday. “Israel has dropped its thin mask of democracy and is moving at dizzying speed to build more settlements,” the co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement said, in a speech peppered with references to Palestinians as indigenous people and Israeli Jews as colonizers.
Reactions from liberal U.S. Jewish and civil-rights organizations came swift and strong to the news that President Donald Trump had removed Stephen Bannon, his polarizing chief strategist, from the National Security Council on Wednesday.
Temple Adath B’nai Israel will be full on Friday night, pews in the small synagogue overflowing with far more than the usual number of worshipers. It won’t only be Jews at the Shabbat service, either, but Christians, Muslims and others as well because the people of Evansville, Indiana have been pouring out to support their small community of Jewish neighbors since a bullet hole was found in a Hebrew school classroom window Tuesday.
Alan Bilinsky had just arrived back in his hometown of St. Louis on Monday when the cemetery where most of his family is buried was desecrated. He was devastated when he heard that some 170 headstones had been toppled and damaged. But there has been a silver lining to the carnage: it has led Muslims and Christians to stand up for St. Louis’ Jews.
Abby Stein is almost certainly the only ordained Hasidic rabbi who is also a woman. Stein wasn’t female when ordained, of course. She was a young man, soon to be married to a woman also from the strict Satmar community in which they were both raised.
A small revolution has taken place in the religious leadership roles being taken by Orthodox Jewish women. But there’s still plenty of work to do.
The fight over BDS is shifting to statehouses. Will pro-Israel advocates find more fertile ground there — or should they shift tactics?
A controversial new organization calling itself If Not Now is rapidly gaining attention, members and steam. But critics say that its mostly millennial members aren’t accomplishing anything substantive with its current approach. The group’s profile recently climbed when its founder, Simone Zimmerman, was very publicly fired by United States presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who had recently hired her as his Jewish outreach coordinator.
Rabbi Sara Luria wasn’t sure why she was called to participate in a panel discussion on faith and social justice with Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders just 45 minutes before it was to start.